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I'm sure there are several in this position now! I had my daughter home till she was seven, then made the difficult decision to try PS on a trial basis. Well she enjoyed school, for the most part, so we kept her there. Now she's now newly 10, in 4th grade, and will probably be home till the end of the year.

I was actually thinking that, if this works well for us, we might transition completely and finish out her elementary years at home. Well, she told me today that she hates home schooling. 😑

I've been trying to make it as fun as possible, outside whenever possible, a lot of play and silliness, discussions and read-alouds and Tinman Press books. But at the same time, the school is asking a lot of the kids...Math especially is ridiculous, iXL math facts, long division, multi-digit multiplication, it's incredibly boring. They're also supposed to be reading these dry articles about the American Revolution (it was while reading that she said she hates hs), and ELA really looks like hamster wheel work. So I'm done with their busywork, it's not giving her what she needs and I want to be able to find something good about this awful time in history. I want to enrich her, get her away from that darned Chromebook, find things that will deepen her life and are FUN for both of us.

At the same time, I don't want her to lose skills. This is my dilemma.

So here we are...I'll have lots of time with her outside, taking walks, collecting, studying nature. We'll read a lot, of course. That's all good. For math I'd like to deschool a bit, through games. We have Prime Climb, but she's somewhat beyond that...I'm not sure what else might work well.

For LA, I've always loved the look of MCT, but can you just start in the middle at a 4th grade level, or should I start at the beginning?

Would that be enough? Any fun ideas for writing? Or unit studies? Project-based learning that would work for a 10 year old? Just sweet, enriching activities we can do together? This seemed so much easier when she was younger, she wanted to swallow the world and was open to everything. I want to bring that girl back...

 

 

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1 hour ago, nature girl said:

I'm sure there are several in this position now! I had my daughter home till she was seven, then made the difficult decision to try PS on a trial basis. Well she enjoyed school, for the most part, so we kept her there. Now she's now newly 10, in 4th grade, and will probably be home till the end of the year.

I was actually thinking that, if this works well for us, we might transition completely and finish out her elementary years at home. Well, she told me today that she hates home schooling. 😑

I've been trying to make it as fun as possible, outside whenever possible, a lot of play and silliness, discussions and read-alouds and Tinman Press books. But at the same time, the school is asking a lot of the kids...Math especially is ridiculous, iXL math facts, long division, multi-digit multiplication, it's incredibly boring. They're also supposed to be reading these dry articles about the American Revolution (it was while reading that she said she hates hs), and ELA really looks like hamster wheel work. So I'm done with their busywork, it's not giving her what she needs and I want to be able to find something good about this awful time in history. I want to enrich her, get her away from that darned Chromebook, find things that will deepen her life and are FUN for both of us.

At the same time, I don't want her to lose skills. This is my dilemma.

So here we are...I'll have lots of time with her outside, taking walks, collecting, studying nature. We'll read a lot, of course. That's all good. For math I'd like to deschool a bit, through games. We have Prime Climb, but she's somewhat beyond that...I'm not sure what else might work well.

For LA, I've always loved the look of MCT, but can you just start in the middle at a 4th grade level, or should I start at the beginning?

Would that be enough? Any fun ideas for writing? Or unit studies? Project-based learning that would work for a 10 year old? Just sweet, enriching activities we can do together? This seemed so much easier when she was younger, she wanted to swallow the world and was open to everything. I want to bring that girl back...

 

 

Anything you do will be "enough."

If you are doing games for math, you are not "de-schooling." De-schooling is doing *nothing* that looks like school, not even math games.

Since she's going back to school, probably in the fall, I wouldn't even try something like MCT. I probably wouldn't even have her do the crap stuff the school wants her to do. Outside as much as possible, lots of play and silliness, collecting, studying nature, discussions and read-alouds and Tinman Press books...that's what *I* would do. Board games if she enjoys them, but only if they're fun board games, like Sorry!, or Parcheesi,  or Uno, or Monopoly, or Settlers of Cataan.

Are there grandparents she could write to? friends who live in town but whom she can't visit because quarantine? That's what letters are for. English skills. Bam.

🙂

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Thanks so much, Ellie. I think my fear is that she's missing 3.5 months of school (they've been out since mid-March and their school continues through June 25.) So the other kids (not all, I realize) will be progressing, while by the time she returns after Labor Day she'll have been out of school for 6 months. I don't think we can let math go that long, and expect her to recover the time next year...I just don't want her to go through the frustration in Sept. of feeling like she's behind, hating math even more.

(So yes, deschooling was the wrong term. But I obviously don't want her doing pages of rote problems...I just don't know what to do that will help her to enjoy math again.)

She's incredibly creative and I want to take advantage of that, something she doesn't get to express in PS. She's artistic and she loves to invent, but she's NOT a self-starter, so I have to find ways to jumpstart that creativity, but I'm at a loss.

I think I mentioned MCT because I was drooling over it years ago, looking forward to her being old enough...Maybe it doesn't make sense, but I do want her to learn how to research and write effectively on topics she likes. That's why I was considering unit studies, or project based learning, but I have no real idea how to put a unit study together for a child this age.

 

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2 hours ago, nature girl said:

For LA, I've always loved the look of MCT, but can you just start in the middle at a 4th grade level, or should I start at the beginning?

I'd just do Island level this year.  You could easily do all of Grammar, Sentence (without assignments), and Practice by June.  This will give her an excellent base, whether or not you decide to continue with homeschooling.  (And, I should mention, that afterschooling with MCT is really easy, as long as you don't do the writing assignments.)

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1 hour ago, nature girl said:

Thanks so much, Ellie. I think my fear is that she's missing 3.5 months of school (they've been out since mid-March and their school continues through June 25.) So the other kids (not all, I realize) will be progressing, while by the time she returns after Labor Day she'll have been out of school for 6 months. I don't think we can let math go that long, and expect her to recover the time next year...I just don't want her to go through the frustration in Sept. of feeling like she's behind, hating math even more.

(So yes, deschooling was the wrong term. But I obviously don't want her doing pages of rote problems...I just don't know what to do that will help her to enjoy math again.)

She's incredibly creative and I want to take advantage of that, something she doesn't get to express in PS. She's artistic and she loves to invent, but she's NOT a self-starter, so I have to find ways to jumpstart that creativity, but I'm at a loss.

I think I mentioned MCT because I was drooling over it years ago, looking forward to her being old enough...Maybe it doesn't make sense, but I do want her to learn how to research and write effectively on topics she likes. That's why I was considering unit studies, or project based learning, but I have no real idea how to put a unit study together for a child this age.

 

The other children will have been out of school for six months, as well. She'll be in good company.

But also, she'll have spent that time doing the things you have been thinking about doing, which IMHO are superior to the crap stuff the school wants her to do.

If she is incredibly creative, she will figure things out on her own, which will be much more valuable than if you put together something artificial. IOW, she doesn't need *you* to "jump start" something; you need to stay out of her way. The reason she isn't a self-starter could be because of all the adults in her life either making her do things she doesn't want to do and filling her time with their busywork. Given complete freedom and plenty of time, you might be surprised at what she can accomplish.

In a couple of months, you can have a talk with her about math and see if y'all can come up with a plan to help her with math. She might not ever "enjoy" math, but I'm sure she realizes it's important.

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Just to do something for math, but not drill and kill, what about Khan Academy? They have grade level "missions" where they level up based on their understanding, so she won't be stuck doing things a million times if she already knows them, etc. 

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19 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Just to do something for math, but not drill and kill, what about Khan Academy? They have grade level "missions" where they level up based on their understanding, so she won't be stuck doing things a million times if she already knows them, etc. 

 

Thanks! They actually assigned the kids Khan sections for tomorrow and Friday. What I remember from looking at Khan a while ago is that it's very well done, but also as boring as watching a teacher write equations on a board, so I was looking for something a bit different. I'll try it tomorrow, though, and see how engaged she is. At least I can be pretty sure they'd teach in the same way I would.

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On March 24, 2020 at 5:10 PM, nature girl said:

she told me today that she hates home schooling. 

Did you clarify with her whether she hates doing their assignments at home or whether she misses something about school?

On March 24, 2020 at 5:10 PM, nature girl said:

This seemed so much easier when she was younger, she wanted to swallow the world and was open to everything. I want to bring that girl back...

Hate to mention it, but you can't get that back. She would have changed anyway. Girls especially.

Can you ask her what she wishes she could do? Does she WANT to do the school assigned tasks? I don't know why you're even involved in a way. Was she independent for her school work with them anyway? So just tell her to get it done and that when she's done you're available to (insert highly motivating thing like making cookies, have a tea party with crumpets, whatever).

She's so bright, doing or not doing the school work probably won't matter anyway. Maybe you'd rather watch Anne of Green Gables and talk boys and puberty or economics or something meaningful? I mean, why waste the time you have together doing the ps academics? If she's worried about being "behind" she can wake up and do them. If she's not, then it doesn't matter.

On March 24, 2020 at 5:10 PM, nature girl said:

I don't want her to lose skills.

Unless she has an SLD, she's not likely to *lose* skills. Teachers will review come fall. If you want to press flowers and hug trees, go do it. I want to go rub bark with my ds. I haven't done that with him and I thought it would be fun to try to guess the trees while they're still in their winter clothes.

Why do the MCT LA??? If you want to be together, be together. You are afraid of truancy charges?? I just wouldn't bother. There's no way she's behind or going to be behind.

You should watch romantic literature movies and ogle men. Seriously. Like every version of Jane Eyre and compare. Every version of Pride & Prejudice and compare. And eat the food to go with the movies. And make memes with your favorite quotes. You don't need MCT right now.

Or go with the Zombies versions of the Jane Austen stuff. 

Edited by PeterPan
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So, I'm in a similar situation with my youngest, age 11.  Similar, but not quite because so far everything they've sent is supplemental and not required (High School is a different story, but my older kids seem to be doing well doing the work assigned there so I'm not worried).  So far we're only out through next week though, but a neighboring district pulled kids for the rest of the year and I feel pretty certain that ours will too.   I'm thinking ahead to when things are actually assigned/required.  If the class does lessons with his actual teacher through Zoom, I'd sort of like him to keep doing those (just to keep up the relationship, more than the actual work).   And there's some ipad programs they've made available online they use that I'd like him to keep up with because he's done well with them and likes them.

But there are other things I'd like to do my way (history I'd definitely like to handle, and I'd like to ditch their spelling program which I've hated and have him go back to All About Spelling).  Gonna have some hard decisions.

Alright, but I do have some curriculum suggestions. 

For math, my child is in Spec. Ed. so I'm not sure what's usually done in 3rd.   Are they still learning multiplication or division facts?   If so, the Facts That Stick series here at Well Trained Mind is cheep, easy, and uses games for practice which sounds like what you're wanting.  I highly suggest it. 

So, what type of things do you think she'd be interested in for Unit Studies?   I know some good free ones on Vikings, Caves, Marine Biology, Africa, Egypt.   (The Viking and Egypt one adds in science to the history). 

They are recommended for age 6-9, so might be too young for her, but I think a 10 year old might still like the One Small Square habitat books by Donald Silver  (Backyard, Woods, Cactus Desert, Pond, and also some more exotic habitats like Tropical Rainforest, Artic, Coral Reef).   They are great for making unit studies out of though.   They are all about taking a look at a "square" of wildlife (through the book, but also in real life for most of the books).   It's good fodder for exploration, and has activities on the sidebars of most sections.   I used those as a base for a unit study and then looked up a few other little projects to go with it.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in a similar situation. We struggled a lot with doing the teacher's lesson plan and assignments at home independently. I felt like it was much harder for me to teach her material her way than it was when I homeschooled according to my own strengths and my children's interests. We do love our PS teachers but, really, we sent them to public school for the child care aspect (since I was working) and the teachers (who are amazing), not the curriculum (which is IMO weak in our district). We decided to go ahead and "withdraw" them (I use parentheses because everything is closed and I haven't gotten any confirmation yet from their side) and I am homeschooling again fully the way I want to. It is going very well, for the most part, and has definitely exposed some things with regard to my kids and their learning that were likely masked to the teachers because of how many children were in class with them. I think the others here have offered a ton of good advice about the materials. I would like to continue keeping them home after this (or at very least, my younger son because he hates public school and wants to be home), but I'm not worried about them getting behind because all the kids are in the same boat and while the schools differ in their expectations, I guarantee you that even the schools expecting full work done will have students with working parents who did not get it done. I speak from experience! They will end up reviewing at the start of next school year.

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I've written this up a hundred times, and it's not going to happen in the full-length (Gone With The Wind length) story.  However.  I pulled my kid from school in 2nd.   He HATED math, and he hated it worse at home.  I made it my absolute mission for 3rd grade that I didn't care whether he progressed--the mission was that he loved math.

I got a math game, sort of a numerical Scrabble where you make equations.  Boy oh boy did that uncover weaknesses.  We had been using (as had the 1st grade school) a popular homeschool math program and he was on level 4.  I went to a completely different math program, went back to 1st grade and started over.  By the end of 3rd grade, we had completed through 3rd grade materials.  We played games with dice, with a goofy little hand-held game I found, with that Scrabble game (I "spotted" him an operation.  If we were working on multiplication, he could use multipliers but I couldn't--I was stuck with addition and subtraction...that sort of thing).  

Mission totally accomplished.  He had hated math because he didn't understand fundamental concepts.  Think about it:  how BORING is to do random flash cards?  But if you know a little bit, like addition and subtraction are inverse...that makes it better.  If you don't understand the concept that one side of an equation EQUALS the other side, it is all just RANDOM.  The new to him math program dealt with his mind the way HIS mind works.  He loved math.

The annual test scores told the tale.  The previous year, he had been doing 4th grade math in school (and getting 100s on all the tests, I might add...he just hated it!!) at a 3rd grade level.  The next year, after going backwards to go forwards, he was doing 4th grade math at a 7th grade level.  And he loved math.  

A homeschool guy once said, "You don't hate math.  You hate not knowing how to DO the math."  That was the case for us.  

I hope you and your family find a way to great happiness in this journey through education.  It isn't always FUN, but it is worthy.

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